The Long Way Home


The Second Year
August 26, 2012, 10:11 AM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , ,

in the walled garden, mellon park

Words fail me this summer. I read a lot  though (mainly Scandinavian mysteries) and copy-edit; in between obsessing over hyphenated words and slashing adjectives I’m instant film obsessed. Shooting with instant film makes me a more deliberate, careful photographer: I think about composition, framing. I edit the photos in my head before they develop. I am more aware of temperature, in subtle shifts of light. I am becoming more patient, not only in film, but what’s around me. The second year of grief has been difficult, but in a different way. The pain that felt permanent inside my chest has settled into something else: the acceptance that my mother is gone. I knew this intellectually last year, but it’s difficult for the heart to catch up  to death’s finality. I get anxiety when I think about this, and it’s confusing to those around me who may think that I should be “over” this, whose words of comfort may fail them as well. It’s also surreal, that someone you have known your entire life is just one day no longer here. There are also moments of intense joy – the ones that made me feel guilty last year, in the wake of her death, but now I see as gifts after a long hard year – ones that I like to believe are from my mother.

liz on her wedding shower day

a view from under the bridge, gateway clipper

wedding tradition: the pittsburgh cookie table

my dream room, full of books and natural light

in the ivy

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12 Comments so far
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Yes, a lovely post Lisa with great photos and a very moving text. You are quite right, we never “get over” these profound absences but we try to find a location for them. You are doing so well: I remember your black and white photos of a year ago and how they conveyed your grief assuaged by beauty. And this past year so much colour–wonderful. Thanks for sharing this journey/process. You might enjoy Karl Knausgaard’s My Struggle if you have been delving into the Scandinavians.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

I didn’t make the connection of the black and white photos and this past year of color until you mention it now, and it makes sense. Thanks for reading through my journey, it’s so nice to read your comments (and I will be sure to check out Knausgaard – I’m a bit obsessed with Scandinavia lately!).

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Comment by Lisa

Dude, your pictures are amazing and your post is so beautiful. I was also reading your comments and Jeff’s comment is so nice! He you have good Monster to share your days with! ❤

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Comment by Allegheny Eats

aw, thanks, billy – that’s so sweet. i do feel lucky that jeff is so patient and understanding. he understands loss and all the emotions that go with it.

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Comment by Lisa

I think of your mother every day.

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Comment by jeff

i know you do – and i’m grateful that you’re getting to know her better through my stories.

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Comment by Lisa

You are amazing. Know that “getting over it” is never a completed journey in in this instance, you just heal more and more each day. Getting over it means forgetting and love is never forgotten. She is part of you.You are exactly where you should be.

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Comment by motherblue212

this means so much to me – thanks, kimmy. it makes me feel so not alone.

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Comment by Lisa

xo

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Comment by motherblue212

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Comment by Lisa

beautiful post, Lisa. Thinking of you.

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Comment by Jen

thanks, jen, that means a lot.

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Comment by Lisa




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